Salaryman Winter Tour 99 - Part 6

I wasn't sure if I was going to write any more tour reports. I have been in such an amazing depression for the past week that I have been barely functional, and I completely flipped out after one of the shows, somewhere in Germany, I can't even remember where.

I finally decided to write because I basically don't know why I am so depressed, and I think I have come to the conclusion that it is partially a chemical imbalance - I have been taking a dosage of synthroid for a malfunctioning thyroid, and before we left for tour, we cut it in 2/3rds, the first cut I've had like this in probably 15 years.So maybe that is what is doing it. It's always really nice to have a biological reason for depression.

So I am going to write about this now, in hopes that 1) I will stop this nonsense after I write about it, 2) Nobody who reads this will ever talk or write to me about this, (if you do, expect me not to respond) and 3) those people who care about me will still care about me after they read this. Who knows. Maybe someone you know is depressed and you can understand them better after you read this.

Somehow in the past few weeks, I decided that I am not an equal member of this band, that I am less important, and in the way most of the time. Now, the whole idea of Salaryman is that we are all 4 equal, we all make music together, and everyone respects each other. Everything is done together. But now, I'm going crazy, and I don't know why I'm here. Voices rattle around in my head, I use people's words out of context and against myself as proof that I am just causing problems. I take sentences, even jokes, out of context that people say and use them as ammunition against myself when I am alone. The voices echo back and forth and I let them damage me more each time I hear them.

On this tour, for example, there is a constant barrage of jokes about women, by men, like, "Which one should I have tonight," etc. - something I am not used to, just a constant drone of looking at women as sperm receptacles - but then as people, too, of course. I know the guys saying this are not chauvanistic, they are just joking. But after a while, it wears on me. How can it not? If I was black, and these were black-people jokes, it would be ok if it wore on me, right? Anyway, I demote myself to "female bassplayer" now, instead of just bassplayer. I start wearing lipstick on stage, and feel like I'm totally ugly when I don't have it on. The reason I don't ever wear makeup is that I have always been afraid that if I start wearing it, then people will find me hideous-looking when I don't wear it.

I cry in the van when no one is looking. I don't understand why I am so sad. It's funny how, in the midst of when my life is going really great, I can allow myself the selfishness to be so sad.

In Zurich, a group of about 10 women sat in front of the stage as we loaded on, and with the first note, they all got up and ran out the door. I wondered, paranoid, if they left because there was another woman in the band. I feel like I hear this constant cry and need for other people on this tour to view beautiful women, and I just feel like an empty, disgusting, hideous creature that does nothing but take up the space in the front of the stage and scare all the pretty women away. I know it's totally all in my mind, but my mind is pretty much all I have left right now.

But things are a bit different here in Europe, I guess. I think in many places, women may not totally be people yet. A couple of women have actually confronted me in the States, asking me how I can stand the sexism in Europe, and I always said that I never notice it. But now I noticed it and let myself become a victim, something that I should be very ashamed of.

It's like there is some sort of partial reinforcement of this sexism stuff here. There is not total idiocy; just partial idiocy by normally delightful people, and that is the hardest to take. Total idiocy would be easier; I could just discount everything that is being said. But no, these are really, really great people, but their images of women seem to be like we are second class citizens or something. Like if we've achieved something, it's a great feat. We're not equal. We're like toys. Only some of us are kind of equal to men, I guess. But those ones are threatening, and should be stopped.

tonight's audience

So I went really crazy after a while, crazy with self-indulgent self-hatred and paranoia. No one is this important. My Friend Buddha would say that it is my pride that is hurting me most, not the people around me. But anyway, I didn't realize this, I just went nuts instead and decided I was in everyone's way, so I put my TV set in front of my face for a couple of shows, so no one could see me. For some reason this comforted me a lot, but it drove Rick crazy. When you go this crazy, you hurt other people around you who care about you. Rick tries to get me to put the TV away, to tell me that people enjoy watching the four of us, the fact that we're a band and that we play together, and that I'm ruining the show like this, but I still don't want to be seen anymore. I don't want to be seen anymore, I don't want to eat anymore, I don't want to write anymore, I don't want to read or talk anymore, and I don't want to wake up anymore.


(end of depression)